USDA: Emerging Winter Grains Need Moisture Soon in Southern Plains

October 19, 2011 03:27 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a chilly rain is falling from Illinois into Ohio and southern Michigan. "Summer crop harvesting and winter wheat planting activities are already behind schedule in the eastern Corn Belt," USDA says. Meanwhile, USDA reports fieldwork continues in the western Corn Belt, despite cold weather. "This morning's low temperatures fell to near 20°F in parts of the upper Midwest," USDA reports.

In the West, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork, including cotton harvesting in California and Arizona, USDA says. "Despite an increase in clouds, dry weather prevails in the Northwest, where wheat planting is nearly complete," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says mild weather is returning to Montana's High Plains. "Elsewhere, cool, dry weather prevails," USDA adds. Freezes were noted this morning as far south as the central High Plains, according to USDA. "On the drought-stricken southern Plains, emerging winter grains will soon need more moisture, despite beneficial, early-October rainfall," USDA says.

In the South, USDA says showers are occurring along the Atlantic Seaboard and in the vicinity of a strong cold front stretching southward from eastern Kentucky. "Producers are gradually resuming fieldwork in the lower Mississippi Valley, following Tuesday's showers, despite sharply cooler conditions," USDA says.

In its outlook, USDA says complex storm will continue to produce unsettled weather across the eastern one-third of the U.S. into Thursday. "Additional rain could total 1 to 3 inches in the eastern Corn Belt and the middle and northern Atlantic coastal plain," USDA says. By Friday, USDA says only a few showers will linger in the lower Great Lakes region. "In the storm’s wake, the coldest air of the season will overspread most areas from the Plains to the East Coast," USDA reports. Freezes will continue through Thursday morning on the northern and central Plains, USDA says. By Friday morning, USDA says a freeze will affect much of the western Corn Belt. "In contrast, late-season warmth will continue in the West, although a few late-week showers will spread from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Plains," USDA reports.


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